I had to chuckle when I read the letter from Jim Newman of Kent City, Mich., in the Sept. 8, 2006 issue of GAN titled “How does a lady — or a Scotsman in a kilt — enter a Symphony 160?”
I must defend those who would “feather an engine.” The procedure requires great eye-hand-foot coordination and impeccable timing. It is accomplished thus: Assuming one is flying a prop-equipped aircraft with cooling inlets to the left and right of the spinner, and further assuming that said aircraft is powered by an opposed piston engine, the pilot must first stop the engine in flight. It should be noted here that if said pilot is flying a single engine craft, there will be limited time during which he/she may execute the engine feathering procedure. It’s a little better in a twin, but not much…at any rate, I digress.
After the engine has been shut down, the pilot must then toggle the prop to ensure that it is not blocking the cooling air inlets. The pilot must then line up with a bird that is flying either slower than or in the opposite direction of the subject aircraft. Larger avian creatures such as ducks and geese make the procedure easier at this point.
The pilot must then execute maneuvers that precisely line up the hapless bird with the cooling air inlets. This causes said bird to enter the cooling air inlet and feather the engine. It should also be noted that to successfully execute this procedure (and the bird) one should first feather the PROP. Failure to do this may result in a prop that windmills after engine shut-down, which will likely distribute the bird to areas of the aircraft other than the cooling air inlets, effectively preventing successful engine feathering.
Mr. Newman, I am shocked that a person with your aviation background would not be aware of this procedure.